Metrical dissonance in Brahms's second piano trio, opus 87 in C major

Bosworth, William Thomas (2013). Metrical dissonance in Brahms's second piano trio, opus 87 in C major. University of Birmingham. M.Mus

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One of the fastest-growing areas in recent analytical musicology is concerned with rhythm and metre, particularly the exploration of the analogy of dissonance and consonance with the pitch domain. Brahms’s oeuvre forms a core part of this research. His works are pervaded by metrical dissonance, including displacement as well as hemiola-type devices. The latter often remain unclassified in description; their various apparitions can include double hemiola, reverse hemiola and displaced hemiola, along with different classes of hemiola.

As chamber music from Brahms’s high maturity, the Piano Trio in C major, Opus 87, is a paradigmatic site for rhythmic-metric interest. Metrical dissonances repeatedly participate in formal articulation and often become motivic. They are also one facet of inter-movement links which in this work help create a global trajectory of delayed resolution. Various elements suggest the possibility of a multi-dimensional complementary pairing with the Op. 88 String Quintet in F.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Mus)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Mus
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Music
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music


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